One week down and so far my wallet doesn’t hate me. I’m actually quite amazed at how little money I spent this week, although working out on a budget wasn’t always a breeze. Let’s rewind.

I decided to begin this month’s challenge with yoga, so Monday I ventured over to Hosh Yoga-by-Donation near my apartment. Our teacher explained that falling autumn leaves symbolize instability, so we should focus on concrete goals we want to fulfill. Her advice helped get me in the right mindset for this month’s challenge. The class was less intimidating than expected— although I have yet to master the tree pose. No matter: I vinyasa’d my way into yoga bliss, donated $5, and felt a unique awareness of my body for the rest of the day.

Tuesday was a different story. I found a free class on Shape Up NYC, a program offered through the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. I signed up for IntenSati, a high-energy cardio class that incorporates positive affirmations such as “I have the power!” and “I am worth it!” I was all for the mental component; I don’t know if I could have kept up with squat number 835 if I hadn’t been telling myself “I am stroooong!” And we were practicing in a classroom, proving that you can work up a sweat (which I absolutely did) anywhere.

On Wednesday I found a deal on yipit.com with three Pilates classes for $9 at Namaste Yoga on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, so I used one of my passes for a $3 day. The classes are usually $20 each, so this was more than a steal! I had never done Pilates before, and let me tell you: my abs hated me. Still do! But I loved it. In some ways, Pilates reminded me of yoga, although the Pilates routine was much faster, which made the class fly by.

By Thursday, I was ready to do something on my own. I headed over to McCarren Park in Williamsburg, where I did some interval training at the track. After a mile warm-up, I sprinted for 200 meters (that’s half the track) and then jogged the other half. I repeated this six times, and ran a mile cool-down. Afterwards, I took advantage of the public park’s strength station, where I did some pull-ups and ab work. Total cost for this sweaty workout? $0!

Friday was the last day of week one, so I treated myself to what I know best: running. I went for one of my favorite runs over the Williamsburg Bridge (something about running in two boroughs is really satisfying), and clocked in a solid six miles, free of charge.

Total cost for the week? $8!

The Pros: I stuck to my budget and accomplished a well-balanced workout week with new fitness classes, individual workouts, and strengthening yoga.

The Cons: Finding deals and free classes meant research and travel. I spent a while finding budget-friendly fitness options, and sometimes had to trek a good distance to get to them.

The Tips: See if your town offers donation-based yoga centers, and take advantage of tracks at local schools. Don’t forget to check out daily deal sites for fitness coupons as well.

Next week, I’m going to see if any gyms have free trial memberships, and I’ll try to join a fitness activity with strangers on meetup.com! I also plan to look for exercise opportunities closer to home that are still within my budget. Maybe some do-it-yourself exercises at home will be in works?

Thanks for following along and stay tuned for next week!

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